BBC Studios and Mercury Studios have struck a development deal.
The partnership will see the two creative organisations work together to originate a “diverse pipeline of music-driven returnable IP” for domestic and international audiences.
The arrangement combines Mercury Studios’ expertise in music-based storytelling and production with BBC Studios documentary unit’s reputation for cross-genre programmes that generate both critical and popular success.
Teams from both parties will work in partnership to develop formats, series and feature documentaries. Subjects will be treated under four main categories: social history; social purpose; specialist factual; and factual entertainment. All of them will have music or music talent at their heart.
Alice Webb (pictured), CEO of UMG’s Mercury Studios, spent 15 years at the BBC prior to joining the major.
“When you combine two powerhouses - the global reach and musical heritage of BBC Studios with the capabilities and insight of Mercury Studios, it makes for a very formidable partnership,” she said. “Collaborating with BBC Studios opens the door for both sides to look beyond the usual artist-focussed documentaries and use music as a lens to create innovative content."
Alan Holland, head of documentary unit, BBC Studios Production, added: “This partnership has the potential to deliver something incredibly special for documentary lovers and music fans alike. The sheer breadth of the BBC Studios docs unit’s genre expertise and our skills in filmmaking means we can tell stories from a fresh perspective and in a range of new and unexpected forms.”
Mercury Studios and BBC Studios will handle distribution of projects on a case-by-case basis.